Medal Race places decided as first Rio 2016 spots taken

Sailing, Sports, Yachting — By on September 19, 2015 at 3:45 PM

7Z7A9773The spots for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao Medal Races were decided as fleet racing concluded for the 320 sailors from 32 nations competing across nine classes.

Alongside the race for medals, an Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final spot and a share of the prize fund, Rio 2016 Olympic Games spots are up for grabs in the Men’s and Women’s 470, Finn and Nacra 17.Saturday’s racing saw three spots taken as China in the Men’s 470, Singapore in the Women’s 470 and China in the Finn qualified for Rio 2016.

Singapore are in the driving seat in the Nacra 17 ahead of Sunday’s Medal Race with a 14 point lead.

A 5-9 knot breeze and once again, strong current, tested the sailors as they put in last ditch efforts to make the Medal Races and push for the podium.

Sailing World Cup Qingdao Low-104Men’s and Women’s 470

Over the last few days’ Austria’s David Bargehr and Lukas Mähr have quietly gone about their business with their eyes fully focused on stringing together a solid series of races.

After a shaky start that featured a 4-12-(17), they moved on nicely as a 3-2-4 followed. But it wasSaturday’s races that saw them excel even further as they posted a race victory and a second which propels them up into top spot.

“Today was really tough, really challenging and light winds. We’ve never sailed in Qingdao before; it’s actually our first time so every day is a little bit new for us.

“We have had to find out how the wind works and this current, it’s amazing, ” Bargehr said with a puff of air that was almost like a sense of relief but in the same breath, with a smile to signify the importance of the task that Qingdao offers.

Sailing World Cup Qingdao Low-105“We have come from a lake so we are not used to sailing in current and it’s pretty tough and pretty challenging but it’s a good challenge. At the beginning we made some mistakes because we didn’t know how to sail here. We feel more comfortable now and I think you’ll see this in the results.”

What can be seen in the results is an Austrian boat leading the way on 28 points, three clear of Hao Lan and Chao Wang (CHN) and four ahead of overnight leaders Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabreara (ESP).

Bargehr and Mähr were brimming with smiles after racing, not because of their performance, but because of the significance of the Men’s 470 competition and being in China’s sailing city.

“This event is the qualification for the Asian ticket for the Olympic Games and you can really feel this intensity because everybody is really trying to get to the Olympics, ” explained Bargehr. “You feel it at the start and at the marks, it’s everywhere and you can just feel it.

“It makes it a lot of fun and it’s just great.

“We’ve never been so for us it was really important for us to come to Asia, to Qingdao. The older guys from Austria they were like ‘yea QINGDAO, you must do this, eat this, do that’. We didn’t know what to expect but now we know what it is like and to get the ranking points from the world cup is important.”

The Austrians have all but guaranteed themselves a medal but the points different between the top three is exceedingly close and will make for an intriguing Medal Race.

China have guaranteed themselves a spot on the Rio 2016 Men’s 470 startline as Lan and Wang hold an unassailable advantage over the chasing Asian teams.

In the Women’s 470, China’s Xiaoli Wang and Lizhu Huang made their assault on the podium by snapping up a pair of race wins to move into second overall. As a result they are two points off of Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN) who held onto their lead following a 3-2.

Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN) occupy the final podium position, nine points off of the Japanese pair.

Singapore’s Priscilla Low and Shu Xian Lee qualified their nation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by the narrowest of margins. They ended the regatta level on 76 points with Nuraisyah Jamil and Norashikin Mohd Sayed (MAS) but sit above them having finished eighth three times compared to the Malaysians single eighth.

The Malaysians put in a protest at the end of the day but it was dismissed by the jury, allowing the Singaporeans to celebrate.

“We’re very very happy at the moment, we’re so relieved. We’ve qualified the country, ” the pair said almost in harmony with big smiles.

“We came here with one plan and one plan only and that was to qualify and we did it so we’re really happy, ” explained Low.

“Our final race was not very good so we were very worried when we came back and saw the results. Then we had a protest which was expected but we didn’t think it would be a big deal because that would have been our discard.”

Nacra 17

With the pressure and stakes as high as they could possibly be heading into Qingdao for the Nacra 17 fleet, Singapore’s Justin Liu and Denise Lim pair have remained stylishly cool.

As the final opportunity for Asian nations to qualify for Rio 2016 in the Nacra 17 it’s the last chance saloon and there has simply been no stopping the Singaporean pair. They sit primed to take glory, a chunk of the prize fund as well as that lucrative Olympic Games spot for Singapore.

They sit 14 points clear of China’s Zijin Wen and Rubei Yuan following two further victories and a second. Even though they have dominated, they remained politely modest after racing,  “It’s very tight and we’re all very close especially with the light breeze and strong current. You make one mistake and you get pushed back a long way, ” said Liu.

“It’s key to keep going, not give up and just go fast.”

Nine wins from 12 races is the standout scoreline this week in Qingdao and could almost be viewed as fault free. When asked if they had actually made any mistakes in a near perfect week,  “Of course, ” they said in tandem laughing,  “but fewer than the others.”

A top seven finish will guarantee Liu and Lim get the job done and with a third their worst result, it’s hard to bet against them in the Medal Race.

Laser and Laser Radial

Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) has one hand on gold in the Laser as he ventures into the Medal Race with a 17 point advantage over Tonci Stipanovic (CRO). The British racer put together two third place finishes as he grabbed back the #1 spot he lost to Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) the day prior.

Stipanovic had a solid day with a 5-2 but ultimately a slow start to the competition has led to him trail Chiavarini by a significant margin.

Overnight leader Bernaz dropped to third following a 15th, which he discards, and a 12th.

Race victories went the way of Yulong Qiu (CHN) and Anders Karlsson (SWE).

In the Laser Radial, Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) moved to top spot following a bullet and a second that gives her 21 points overall. Canada’s Isabella Bertold remains in the hunt for gold, five points behind Zhang.

Manami Doi (JPN), on 30 points and Min Gu (CHN) on 31 points also remain in contention.

Men’s and Women’s RS:X, Finn and 49er

The 10-boat Finn fleet featured nine Chinese boats with a single Iranian sailor, Ahmad Ahmadi, up against it in the race for qualification.

Ultimately, the Chinese team’s presence and control of the fleet played to their advantage and with Ahmadi sitting in eighth overall, it’s now mathematically impossible for him to overtake the Chinese competitors and claim the Rio 2016 spot with China qualifying in the Finn for Rio 2016.

The race for the World Cup Qingdao title continues with Luwen Shen (CHN) holding a five point advantage over Lei Gong (CHN) heading into the Medal Race.

Despite an OCS, Jiahui Wu (CHN) holds onto the top spot in the Women’s RS:X. She has a six point advantage over compatriot Peina Chen (CHN).

Chunzhuang Liu (CHN) leads the Men’s RS:X by six points over Bing Ye (CHN). Liu took a pair of race wins and has the advantage going into the Medal Race.

The 49er competition wrapped up on the penultimate day. Bongjin Chae and Dongwook Kim (KOR) took gold by a single point over Sungwok Kim and Hoyeob Yang (KOR).

Medal Races are scheduled to commence at 11:30 local time on Sunday 20 September

Entries for ISAF Sailing World Cup are available to view on the World Cup website here – and results will be available throughout when racing commences on 16 September here – TRACKING
The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking. Live tracking will be available when racing commences via – Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App will be available for devices with 7″ or greater screens.
Click here to download the iOS Application –
Click here to download the Android Application – STATUS
The Competition Status Screen feeds in straight from the Race Committee boats with the teams inputting data such as race times, course type, the status of each race and the plan moving forward. The competition status screen will be available when racing commences via – MEDIA
Follow the event on ISAF’s social networks:
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Twitter – @ISAFupdates

ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup is a world-class annual series for Olympic sailing. It is open to the sailing events chosen for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Its centre piece is the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup will consist of five regattas for all ten Olympic events and where possible, Formula Kite Racing. Qualification places for the ISAF Sailing World Cup final are up for grabs at each event. The final will bring together the top 20 boats in each Olympic event and an Open Kiteboarding event where the World Cup Champions will be crowned

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup
Melbourne – 7-14 December 2014
Miami – 25-31 January 2015
Hyères – 20-26 April 2015
Weymouth and Portland – 8-14 June 2015
Qingdao – 14-20 September 2015
2015 Final Abu Dhabi – 27 October to 1 November 2015

View the World Cup qualification system here.

For more information about ISAF please go to or contact

About The International Sailing Federation
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is the world governing body for the sport of sailing.

ISAF is made up of 139 Member National Authorities (MNAs), who are its principal members, and responsible for the decision making process that governs the sailing world.

There are currently more than 100 ISAF Classes, ranging from the small dinghy classes for young people up to 60 foot ocean racers.

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